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One of the best Android launchers returns with a major update

Android launcher
Android launcher

Despite its turbulent past, Lawnchair is one of our favorite Android launchers. After one of the launcher’s primary developers departed the company in 2022, development essentially ceased, with no major releases since then. That is changing now, with Lawnchair 14 beta available for download, which includes numerous modifications and enhancements.

Lawnchair 14 beta, built on Android 14’s Launcher3, adds QuickSwitch functionality from Android 10 to Android 14. This allows you to customize the recent applications screen and enjoy smooth navigation motions, but it does require root access to function. The team points out that key Android 14-exclusive QuickSwitch features, such as the taskbar, will not be available on Android 12 and older devices.

Lawnchair 14 now includes support for Google’s GestureNavContract API for non-rooted smartphones. While not ideal, it enables smooth gestures while utilizing navigation gestures. If your device’s manufacturer has deactivated the API, the smooth animations will not appear on your phone.

Lawnchair 14 adds global search support, drawing inspiration from a variety of device and third-party launchers. You may now search for contacts, files, device settings, and other items directly from the launcher. The team intends to improve the feature by creating a new API for adding custom search providers and redesigning the interface with a Pixel-inspired UI.

By default, the global search uses Starpage, a private search engine that does not collect any user information. The team has also reached a revenue-sharing agreement with them, which will assist fund the launcher’s development.

Lawnchair 14 beta introduces Smartspace integration.

Another major enhancement to Lawnchair is Smartspacer compatibility, which seeks to extend the functionality of Google’s At a Glance widget. With the connection, you may use Smartspacer on your Lawnchair home screen with animations, horizontal scrolling, and more customization possibilities.

Other modifications to theming in Lawnchair 14 beta, as highlighted by the team in their announcement, include as follows:

  • Ability to hide the Dock
  • Custom icon shape picker
  • Tweaked icon pack picker
  • More padding, color, and size customizations
  • More font support

The Lawnchair team promises to pack even more features in the next release, like a responsive Settings interface, an updated icon pack, the ability to disable the app drawer, more custom color options, drawer tabs, and more.

If you want to take the latest Lawnchair 14 beta release for a spin, grab the APK from the launcher’s GitHub page.

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